In the federal budget for 2022-23, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made many promises regarding the education sector. The budget focuses on closing the learning gap through school closures and digital education, from launching a digital university to expanding the reach of the PM e-vidya program. During Covid-19, the finance minister attempted to cover the losses that transpired in the previous two years.
Did the union budget for 2022-23, on the other hand, meet teachers' expectations? Teachers' reactions to the education sector's union budget for 2022-23 are listed below.
Union Budget 2022-23: Teachers' reactions on union budget on education sector
The allocation of school and higher education budgets has drawn mixed responses from teachers. While several criticised the government for low budgetary allocation, others were happy with the establishment of a digital university.
Many teachers appreciate digital universities and the 'one class one TV channel' program as they believe the initiatives indicate that the government has highlighted digitization to boost online education and access to education across the country.
The education budget allocation last year was Rs 93,223 crores, which was reduced by 6% as compared to the year before. However, it has increased by nearly Rs 11,054 over the current financial year. So, teachers are happy about this.
The finance minister has allocated Rs 63,449 crore to the department of school education and literacy, an increase of Rs 9,000 crore, and the higher education department has been allocated Rs 40,828 crore for the next financial year, which is an increase of 6.6% over the current financial year.
Neetu Aggarwal, a science teacher, said that the allocation in the union budget 2022 for the education sector shows a sign of continued potential growth and a sign of relief in the education sector.
On the other hand, the fact that the ‘One Class One TV channel’, the existing scheme of providing supplementary education by television will be expanded, was also appreciated by teachers and experts.
Rajesh Bhatia, Founder and CEO of Treehouse education, lauded the idea of starting over 200 channels covering multiple regional languages as under this scheme, those who are undable to attend online classes during the Covid-19 pandemic due to lack of digital devices or internet connectivity would also be able to continue learning.
The finance minister has mentioned supplementary teaching through additional TV channels to make up for the loss of education of the last two years. This initiative will help to improve online education, said Rajeev Mehta, Professor of Delhi University.
Some teachers say that ‘One Class One TV’ will not be enough and that it was also important that the education system, pedagogies and assessments be changed with time.
On the digital university setup, Niru Aggarwal, a trustee of Greenwood High International School said, “Establishing a digital university is a very innovative and path-breaking initiative which will enable students across the country to access quality education."
On E-Vidya, Shweta Singh, a teacher, said that the government’s decision to enhance digital learning with E-Vidya will be a boost to the education sector. This is necessary to train and build skills among children as this would make them employable.
(This is a slightly modified version of an article originally published in India Today. The original article can be found at https://www.indiatoday.in/business/budget-2022/story/did-the-education-budget-2022-23-satisfy-the-expectations-of-teachers-1907399-2022-02-01